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Unhappy with how trade in value decreased for unexplained reason

Sretnev53

Member
Mar 31, 2020
8
7
Oklahoma City, Okla
So hello, first post. Long time car enthusiast, and car-forums enthusiast. I have a white SR+ W/White interior due by the end of this month (June), and I have certainly had nothing but positive experiences w Tesla. The day I watched the 1st launch of the Falcon heavy, I decided that if the stock took a big dip, I would buy some.

Then in March of 20' when it did- I bought 3 shares at about $400.00 and change ea. (Took me 3 days to set up etrade acct, so I missed the very bottom) So as the stock went up and up and split 5 for one, I sold 2/3rds of it when it hit $650.00, so pulled $6,500 to use toward the Model 3.... Thanks for the down payment Elon! Still have 5 left.. So I orderd My car through the Gallery here in Oklahoma City, and intended to sell my current daily driver (2018 Kia Soul +) to an end user.

My Kia is at about 71K miles, and just out of curiosity I checked what Tesla would quote as a trade in, and was shocked to see the number was $11,555. So I tried to get the offer accepted, and "backed" into my existing order. As you may know thje Tesla site seems set up to accept the trade offer before you order the car.

I had told Tesla, I was just going to pay outright for the 3. So I then spent a day or two chatting back and forth w Tesla about how do we accept the offer, and back it into my order, so the amount due would reflect the lesser cash amount. They said they had to do that from their end, but it would be no problem, some one would "reach out". So the next day I get a call from a Tesla person, who sends me instructions as to how to take 6 photos of the car in specified "poses".

I did this, and the offer came back within minutes, at $9,700.00 GASP! What? The original $11,555 was predicated on the 70K + miles, and the language of the offer says the car can have no major cosmetic or mechanical issues, which on balance it does not. But there was no reasons given.. in fact when I pushed the "No" button on my phone, all traces of any talk of trades vanished from my account page.

Again as I said this was the first and only thing that reminded me of typical dealings with a stereotypical Auto dealer. Again if I had gotten a note saying "we looked closely at your photos and feel like we are going to need to touch up every little paint chip, and replace the front seats, hence the discount from the original estimated value..... I still wouldn't take it but It would have been a bit less of a shock. Anyone else run into this specific thing? Robin V.

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CapitalTM3

Member
Apr 6, 2021
92
96
USA
So hello, first post. Long time car enthusiast, and car-forums enthusiast. I have a white SR+ W/White interior due by the end of this month (June), and I have certainly had nothing but positive experiences w Tesla. The day I watched the 1st launch of the Falcon heavy, I decided that if the stock took a big dip, I would buy some. Then in March of 20' when it did- I bought 3 shares at about $400.00 and change ea. (Took me 3 days to set up etrade acct, so I missed the very bottom) So as the stock went up and up and split 5 for one, I sold 2/3rds of it when it hit $650.00, so pulled $6,500 to use toward the Model 3.... Thanks for the down payment Elon! Still have 5 left.. So I orderd My car through the Gallery here in Oklahoma City, and intended to sell my current daily driver (2018 Kia Soul +) to an end user. My Kia is at about 71K miles, and just out of curiosity I checked what Tesla would quote as a trade in, and was shocked to see the number was $11,555. So I tried to get the offer accepted, and "backed" into my existing order. As you may know thje Tesla site seems set up to accept the trade offer before you order the car. I had told Tesla, I was just going to pay outright for the 3. So I then spent a day or two chatting back and forth w Tesla about how do we accept the offer, and back it into my order, so the amount due would reflect the lesser cash amount. They said they had to do that from their end, but it would be no problem, some one would "reach out". So the next day I get a call from a Tesla person, who sends me instructions as to how to take 6 photos of the car in specified "poses". I did this, and the offer came back within minutes, at $9,700.00 GASP! What? The original $11,555 was predicated on the 70K + miles, and the language of the offer says the car can have no major cosmetic or mechanical issues, which on balance it does not. But there was no reasons given.. in fact when I pushed the "No" button on my phone, all traces of any talk of trades vanished from my account page. Again as I said this was the first and only thing that reminded me of typical dealings with a stereotypical Auto dealer. Again if I had gotten a note saying "we looked closely at your photos and feel like we are going to need to touch up every little paint chip, and replace the front seats, hence the discount from the original estimated value..... I still wouldn't take it but It would have been a bit less of a shock. Anyone else run into this specific thing? Robin V.
Holy wall of text. But here’s my take:

If you don’t like Tesla’s offer, don’t take it. Personally Tesla offered 14.5k for my car and I ended up selling to Vroom for 20500. Tesla does not resale vehicles on their lots—they only sell them to auction.

vroom, Carvana, CarMax etc… will all take pictures of your vehicle (either before initial offer, after, or upon pickup) to verify that it matches the description you entered. That affects value, however the other thing that affects value would be current market rate for the type of vehicle you are selling. High demand, low supply=high value. Inverse is true and this changes daily and even sometimes hourly. This is much more variable in instances where you are selling to an auction (which is Tesla’s practice).
 
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El joe

Member
Jan 29, 2019
600
486
SF Bay Area, CA
Holy wall of text. But here’s my take:

If you don’t like Tesla’s offer, don’t take it. Personally Tesla offered 14.5k for my car and I ended up selling to Vroom for 20500. Tesla does not resale vehicles on their lots—they only sell them to auction.

vroom, Carvana, CarMax etc… will all take pictures of your vehicle (either before initial offer, after, or upon pickup) to verify that it matches the description you entered. That affects value, however the other thing that affects value would be current market rate for the type of vehicle you are selling. High demand, low supply=high value. Inverse is true and this changes daily and even sometimes hourly. This is much more variable in instances where you are selling to an auction (which is Tesla’s practice).
Agree with this. Tesla offered me $34k for my 2018 LR AWD whereas Carvana offered me $38.4K and Vroom offered me $39k. Shop around.
 
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Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,296
6,858
Canyon Lake,CA
Just like the value of your stock, used car prices can go up or down depending on a ton of circumstances. Buyers take reconditioning costs into consideration when they offer you a final price.

Solution is relatively simple. If you do not like the price Tesla is offering, simply sell it to another buyer.
 
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Sretnev53

Member
Mar 31, 2020
8
7
Oklahoma City, Okla
You are all correct to be sure, and that is just what I'm doing. My point was I spent parts of 3 days assuming that the number that Tesla's trade in quote generator, generated was reliable, but the actual offer was hugely less. If I put my same Vin in again after the fact it generates the first number again. So it generates a tempting # but delivers a poor one.. classic bait and switch tactics...........all in all, still a long way from the worst corporate sin of all automotive history.
 

Krnzmaster

Member
Jun 5, 2021
55
65
Charlotte, NC
You are all correct to be sure, and that is just what I'm doing. My point was I spent parts of 3 days assuming that the number that Tesla's trade in quote generator, generated was reliable, but the actual offer was hugely less. If I put my same Vin in again after the fact it generates the first number again. So it generates a tempting # but delivers a poor one.. classic bait and switch tactics...........all in all, still a long way from the worst corporate sin of all automotive history.
Yeah, my trade in was 1k less than they originally said. Carvana ended up offering 2k higher so trying to cancel my trade in so I can take the Carvana cash. But nobody wants to answer my email or calls T.T
 

raptor5244

Active Member
May 10, 2019
1,107
820
Florida
Yeah, a couple years ago when I bought our two Model 3s the Tesla trade-in pricing seemed pretty fair and they would match Carmax. Lately, Tesla is about $4-5k less than Carvanna, Vroom, Carmax, etc. Maybe they were getting hurt on the wholesale side of things after they pay for auction fees, transport, paperwork, etc. so they may just lowball trade-in now to make sure they are covered. It is annoying for folks in states that can reduce their sales tax by trading in but Tesla trade-in is so low it doesn't even cover the tax savings. Hopefully they improve in this area of the business.
 

Zinzan

Member
May 25, 2021
68
43
ATL
FWIW, I don’t think this is a case of bait-and-switch… the initial quote is not a final offer—that comes after you supply the final details and provide pictures of the car and the odometer. Sure, the final offer might be lower, but it might be higher. In my case, the final offer was $50 higher than the initial quote.

I have accepted the offer, but there’s a fair chance it will expire before my order comes in. But that’s okay, because I now see that Carvana’s INITIAL offer is a few thousand $ higher still, so I’ll probably sell my car to them anyways.
 

A2be

Member
May 19, 2019
33
23
Denver, Colorado, USA, Sol3
Yeah, a couple years ago when I bought our two Model 3s the Tesla trade-in pricing seemed pretty fair and they would match Carmax. Lately, Tesla is about $4-5k less than Carvanna, Vroom, Carmax, etc. Maybe they were getting hurt on the wholesale side of things after they pay for auction fees, transport, paperwork, etc. so they may just lowball trade-in now to make sure they are covered. It is annoying for folks in states that can reduce their sales tax by trading in but Tesla trade-in is so low it doesn't even cover the tax savings. Hopefully they improve in this area of the business.
On a trade in of a Tesla, in Denver, Tesla offer is running nearly $10k BELOW what CarMax offered me for my Model 3 SR+.

Details here:
 

raptor5244

Active Member
May 10, 2019
1,107
820
Florida
On a trade in of a Tesla, in Denver, Tesla offer is running nearly $10k BELOW what CarMax offered me for my Model 3 SR+.

Details here:
Not surprised. Tesla either doesn't want the trades or is trying to make a killing on them. Either way, don't plan on trading your car in with them.
 

Sretnev53

Member
Mar 31, 2020
8
7
Oklahoma City, Okla
So, ordered Model 3 SR+ white/white Int, around 05/06/2021. The Tesla page showed a projected delivery of June 22nd-June 30th. Knowing Tesla's propensity to deliver domestic sales toward the end of each quarter, the projected dates made perfect sense to me.

I Initially indicated that I was going to pay cash for the Model 3. I Intended to sell my 2018 Kia Soul+ outright to an end user, and use cash I had coming in from selling a house. The Kia was bought used from Hertz in 03/2019 w/30K at $13,800. I had it for 27 Months and put 41K Miles on it.

I had heard that clean late model used cars were at a high pricewise, so out of curiosity I put my Kia's Vin in the Tesla trade in calculator and was surprised to see the estimate came out at $11,566. This number caused me to decide to accept Tesla's trade-in estimate. After a few days of communicating w Tesla about logistics of swapping cars on delivery day (Delivery 351 miles from OKC), and up loading pictures of the Soul, Tesla came back with a revised estimate of $9,766.

I responded with a quick no thanks, and was very surprised they offered no reasons for the $1,800 lowering of the estimate. Moreover the bigger surpise was when I put the same Vin, mileage, etc back into the trade in quote generator, AFTER getting and turning down the actual offer, Tesla's system again did an estimate of $11,566! I am amazed Tesla's system is not aware that a quote, and estimate had already been generated, and failed to come to a mutually agreeable deal, on this specific car, and owner.

I am in a retail business where used gear is the biggest catagory over any one brand of new (Pro level musical instruments), and anytime I can't come to a purchase deal I will always tell the seller, that yes finding an end user rather than a reseller should net him more for his instrument, but if he has no sucess finding a buyer my offer remains, so long as nothing is changed on the instrument in question.

So my main point, and I would suggest this to Tesla, is that the Trade in system should respond to a specific car being re run i with a personalized message. (Like we all know that looking at your order in the system shows you "Bob's Tesla", or "Glenda's Tesla") The message should be something like: "Glenda, this is the car that we quoted at $9,700 of trade in value, that was initially turned down by you. Have you reconsidered? If so we would be glad to do a brief recheck of the car and see if we can still offer the same amount.

But the Tesla computer system doesn't seem to "Track" trade in deals at all. I can't believe this isn't just a rookie oversite, as it just can't be a hard thing to do within the software that they are running.

As it happened I checked with Carvana, and got a estimate of $11,706, and upon inspection in my own driveway at home yesterday, they direct deposited $11,706 into my bank, and sent a tow truck for the Kia. This means I drove the Kia for 27 Months and 41K miles, and sold it for $2,094.00 less than I paid for it..... well and $4,562.00 in gas and $1,600 in Tires and Oil changes, and front brake job etc..

Final thing that happened so far in this situtation, Tuesday the 8th of June at 7:52 PM I get a text from Tesla that opens with: Have you considered trading in a vehicle with your upcoming Tesla Purchase?.......... Lol wow. And as of yesterday the 9th, for the first time since I paid my $100.00 order fee, the projected delivery estimate was changed to July 22-August 23rd... You think I've made them mad? I did call them and they said they still might make the earlier deliverydate. Hummmmmm . Signed big Tesla fan now relagated to driving my 2003 Dodge Caravan work truck with 145K Miles until They can deliver the 3.
 

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raptor5244

Active Member
May 10, 2019
1,107
820
Florida
Carvana offered me 45k for my 2020 performance with 5k miles and fsd. Kinda weak. Car would be 65k new.
Should be a little higher if you check it now as my 2019 M3P with 7k miles and no FSD has a Carvana offer of $46,600. Still weak IMO but the M3P doesn't hold its value as much as the lower trims do. Just not enough differentiation for the money other than the software unlock for the extra oomph. Still love the car and nothing else is as well rounded and performs like this for the money but the resale on it is just ok even in this crazy bubble.
 

dropgems

Member
Jan 11, 2020
99
40
New York
Should be a little higher if you check it now as my 2019 M3P with 7k miles and no FSD has a Carvana offer of $46,600. Still weak IMO but the M3P doesn't hold its value as much as the lower trims do. Just not enough differentiation for the money other than the software unlock for the extra oomph. Still love the car and nothing else is as well rounded and performs like this for the money but the resale on it is just ok even in this crazy bubble.
Yea it’s a great car. Thinking about the plaid but for more than double the money I don’t think it’s twice as good as the 3 P. Gotta drive it though.
 

Scrannel

Member
Sep 27, 2019
169
66
Malibu, CA United States
Hate to be the weirdo here, but when I got my final trade-in quote from Tesla I did shop around and everyone was very close, so I just went with Tesla. When I showed up to make the swap they actually gave me MORE then they had quoted for my trade-in.
 

EVFamilyGrins

Member
May 4, 2021
7
9
CT
Remember, Tesla is not a typical car dealer and does not sell used cars (other than Tesla's), so most of the trade ins get sold to dealers via auctions.

So it makes sense to shop around and if you get a better offer, Generally Telsa will match an offer from Carmax/vroom. Some states (including OK) let you deduct the trade in value from the purchase price for tax calculations, so it might be worth seeing if Tesla will match third party price to get extra tax savings.
 

RichardB123

Member
Sep 14, 2020
7
8
Victoria BC
Tesla offered $33,000 CAD on trade for my 2020 standard range plus with 9000km. Thats 37% depreciation in 9 months for a car in almost new condition. This would make the model 3 the fastest depreciating car on the planet. Craigslist has similar cars with higher mileage listed for $52,000 CAD. What’s going on? Tesla doesn’t want trade ins? They should tell people in advance.
 

Twiglett

Single pedal driver
Oct 3, 2014
2,890
2,838
Austin
first quote is sight unseen - second quote is after seeing the pictures of the car and are based on car condition - hardly bait and switch.
Regular car dealers will treat both car sale and trade as one transaction. Selling price will change based on the trade to make sure they make money on both. Tesla don't do that and don't sell used cars that aren't Tesla - so shopping around is always to your advantage.
 

Resist

Member
Mar 24, 2019
443
221
San Luis Obispo
You will always make less trading in a vehicle to a dealer. But what you do get is the convenience because they do all the paperwork. And if you sell to a private party, then you have to get a ride to the dealer to pickup your new car. Sometimes the convenience factor is worth the loss of the trade in amount.
 

raptor5244

Active Member
May 10, 2019
1,107
820
Florida
Tesla offered $33,000 CAD on trade for my 2020 standard range plus with 9000km. Thats 37% depreciation in 9 months for a car in almost new condition. This would make the model 3 the fastest depreciating car on the planet. Craigslist has similar cars with higher mileage listed for $52,000 CAD. What’s going on? Tesla doesn’t want trade ins? They should tell people in advance.
Pretty much. Tesla is only interested in selling new EVs so they lowball your trade-in and force you to get other offers. You basically do the work for them. Once you show them a valid Carmax offer they will probably match it or come pretty close. I sold my 2019 M3P this past week to help minimize the depreciation hit. The car was $60k when I purchased it minus the $3,750 tax credit, so ~$56k. 6 months ago the highest offer I could get on the M3P, black with white interior (no FSD) and only 7,000 miles was $41k. I thought that this was ridiculous depreciation for only 2 year with low miles. I expected the higher trim to experience a bit more depreciation than a M3 AWD LR or SR+ since there is really not enough differentiation other than the extra oomph from 0-60mph but I thought it was excessive. Fast forward to today, I have been watching the value creep up for two reasons. Supply shortages, low inventory and the fact that Carmax, Carvana, Vroom, etc. are willing to retail Teslas now if they are still under factory warranty. I have a Cybertruck on order and another car to drive so I unloaded it for $47,500. Eh, not great but a lot better than $41k, which is what it will drop back down to once the new car inventory starts improving.

We also have an SR+ and the depreciation curve on that car is much better. For example, 2019 SR+ which was $41k minus the $3,750 tax credit, $37,250. I ran it though Carvana, (2019, SR+, White, Black interior, 22k miles, no FSD) and it came back with $36,559. I can't complain about that...
 

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